A new modern Orange hall costing well over half-a-million pounds has been branded one of the institution’s “premier” venues in the Province, as it was officially declared open in Co Armagh.
Described by the order as an “all-encompassing” structure which will also serve as a “major community hub”, it opened in Markethill on Saturday.
Belonging to Kilcluney LOL 132, the building incorporates sports changing facilities as well as a lodge room, function hall, conference room and kitchen.
Kilcluney Worshipful Master Bryan Hunter said aside from lodge business the hall will be used for recreational, educational, and social purposes.
The £670,000 development was supported by the Stormont Executive Office’s Social Investment Fund, and adds to an existing 3G pitch at the site which opened last year.
It was formally opened by Grand Master Edward Stevenson.
The order said that the gathering included the symbolic removal of the lodge’s warrant, mallets, and banner from the nearby old hall, which were then transferred to their new permanent home.
Mr Stevenson described the Kilcluney building as one of the “premier” Orange halls in Northern Ireland.
He said: “A development of this magnitude shows great strategic vision, but is also a structural manifestation of what can be achieved when lodge members as local volunteers are prepared to commit time, effort and skills to benefit themselves and others.”
The event came after the launch on Friday evening of the Drew Nelson legacy project (which is set to include a dedicated student centre in Belfast, providing accomodation and study space).
The dedication service was officiated by Deputy Grand Chaplain, Rev Nigel Reid.